Spring is to see the shoots in my balcony boxes push through the soil, reaching upwards and flowering into their potential. No matter my years, I’m still amazed at how a tiny seed can blossom into something grand. In the same way, I love the stories of people who have had such tough lives and yet managed through self-belief and determination to succeed. This year we have celebrated brave and consistent frontline workers and those who spent time caring for others, often as volunteers. The moments of joy that we collectively had were when heroes like Sir Tom, Marcus Rashford, and I count Jacinda Arden too, showed us how grit, gutsiness, and grace can help you achieve goals despite challenges.
I have learned that to be courageous you have to hear what you really need or want. Despite the butterflies in my stomach every time I embark on a new beginning, even as I have to leave my comfort zone, I dare to, because I hear the longing of my heart. Interestingly the origin of the word courage is ‘cor’ which means heart in Latin. The Dalai Lama has said, “the more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.” In life change is inevitable and nobody is exempt from making momentous decisions like about where to live, with whom, and how to advance in life. A change is as good as a rest, I have heard often, but sometimes it doesn’t feel restful to be in a new situation. In actuality, we may need to be more energetic, alert, and flexible. Yet change can be tamed if we show up with confidence if we are wholehearted in our endeavours. Every time I make the first marks on a blank canvas and start applying paint or fabric, I stay committed to the art I want to pull off by reminding myself to foremostly enjoy the act of making. I am not under-aiming or being completely control-less, but rather imagining that the art emerging in the process is just as integral to creative communion.
They say what you become depends upon what you can overcome. Only when you get off the spectator’s bench and participate in the game of life, will you know what you are able to realize. Without courage we dip our toes in water and run from the idea of swimming when it is too cold. Yet when we act with a “Yes I can do this!” we have the chance to meet an opportunity and option to win. After this here last year the task to bounce back and rebuild may feel very difficult. I hope to help myself by harmonising with spring’s freshness, being mindful of buds opening, and knowing that those hills we climb keep us fit.
By Nicola Manasseh